When I was made redundant, my ex-company paid for a employment consultant to talk to me about my skills and how to get another job. During one of these sessions the consultant told me something about myself I thought at the time was very perceptive. This was before I started trying to get published and this process reinforced the truth of her assessment.
She told me I was ‘resistant to affirmation’. One of the aspects of what she meant was that I tended to discount praise but gave much more credibility to criticism, using it as a tangible base to do something about.
Shortly after this session, I joined a writing group. For the first time, I shared my writing with others and got feedback on it. I saw how others reacted to my work and that helped me to see it in a new way. And I got criticism. The best way I can describe is that I devoured that criticism, reshaping my stories, checking characters’ behaviour and looking again at settings.
Then the book was finished. I did two copy proof reads – maybe it was the new format but I found far more things I wanted to change than I expected. Eventually though, this process had to stop and the draft became a book which went out to reviewers. I was relatively sanguine about this process because it has to be done and readers want to see reviews to help them choose what to read. Except there was one thing: I couldn’t change anything. So I braced myself.
Those reviews are starting to come in now.
I found the story to become progressively darker and more intriguing as it went on so if you like it from the first page, as I did, you know it’s only going to get better. Jessikah Hope Stenson
To say that I’m delighted is true, though stunned is probably a better description because they have been positive. Very positive. A couple have even said they want to see more, which cheers me as I knuckle down to book two. Maybe I could get to like this praise lark…